Schedule an Unplanned Run

It turns out, I like routine. 19-year-old me would be absolutely disgusted to hear me say that, but it’s true.

FILE - DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - CHRIS DUNN

FILE – DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN

There is something very comforting and safe in keeping a certain rhythm to life. Knowing for sure when I’ll be able to get in my workout, how long and hard I need to go, this makes me feel secure. It’s a luxury that I, like everyone else, am not always afforded. But I’m grateful when I get it.

Like most runners I have certain routes I do depending on how far I’m going. I run these routes over and over again because I know exactly how long they are, whether they offer challenging hills, and if they swing by a public restroom. (Always know where the nearest bathroom is). They are a part of my safe, happy, routine.

A few weeks ago I did something crazy though. Girls gone wild crazy. I added an extra run to my week. I know what you’re thinking. “Kate, when did you become such a rebel?” “Aren’t you afraid of the running police???” Yes, a little. But it get’s even crazier. When I left my house for this totally unscheduled run, I did not plan how far I would go. I’ll give you a second to let that sink in…

…that’s right. No plan. I just went. I started running a normal route and where I would normally turn around, I didn’t. I kept going and found a different way home. It shouldn’t have felt earth shattering, but it did. It felt like a totally different run. I felt free. Just adding that little variety and freedom to my routine felt amazing.

And now my unplanned run has become part of my routine. Because yes, I still need my routine and don’t judge me. Once a week I head out for a free run. With no plans for distance or pace, just to enjoy myself and if I feel like it, discover a new route.

If this is how you workout normally well, good for you. We are very different people. But if you’re like me and meticulous planning and routine give you warm fuzzies, I challenge you to try this. Schedule in an unplanned run and see when it takes you.

About Kate Penn

I've been a staff photographer at YDR for about 6 years. I'm into visual media, running, and food. Reach me @k8penn
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One Response to Schedule an Unplanned Run

  1. Liz says:

    I thought of your post today as I ended up doing an unexpected unplanned run – the route I planned to take was covered in ice, so I just headed in a different direction and kept going. I ended up running over a mile longer than I had planned. So, good advice!

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